When is it time for your business to outsource logistics solutions?
Now could be the time for your business to outsource logistics solutions. Sales, product development, business growth, and team management are more than enough to keep your hands more than full. So maybe it’s time to elevate your strategy with a third or fourth-party logistics solution.
As Jon Burgess, General Manager of DHL’s supply chain says, ‘X2 has become a valuable asset supplementing core fleet operations’. And he’s not alone.
Because like many supply chain managers, contract managers, and operational managers, they are looking for efficient and smart logistical solutions that answer the needs of their manufacturers and end customers.
When does a business need to outsource logistics solutions?
The growth of a brand is encouraging and challenging in the same breath. Being able to scale up with ease and implement intelligent strategies allows you to have a secure footing in your sector.
It’s not uncommon to see companies struggle to maintain a consistent and strong supply chain under the impact of Brexit, the fragility of the economy, and other major world events.
However, engaging with a privately owned logistics company that has cross-sector experience means companies are able to have access to services that adapt their strategy to meet the needs of the brand and the customer.
Let’s take a look at the main difference between 3PL and 4PL so you gain an understanding of which is more suitable for your supply chain.
What is the difference between 3PL and 4PL?
If your company is operating third-party logistics, this means you have a specialist company providing a range of distribution, storage, transportation, and order management services. The 3PL service provides end-to-end management of these services.
A 4PL can manage the entire supply chain from start to finish. Whereas a 3PL focuses on logistics alone, 4PL providers have scope and strategy over the entire supply chain. 4PL is effectively an operational model where a business outsources its entire supply chain management and logistics to one external enterprise like X2.
4PL services might include
It might be time to outsource your logistical solutions with 4PL. The list of services included in 4PL is broad and gives companies the agency to focus on development in other areas of the business whilst the logistics and management are taken care of.
- Management over the product data and order files
- Optimise and load plan all orders
- Book in deliveries with your customers
- Allocate optimal resource
- Liaise with your warehouse to schedule and agree on collections
- Progress chase and confirm collection times
- Track delivery to end customer
- Give advice of any delays or variations of the plan
- Deal with all post-delivery documentation and POD’s
- Produce KPI’s to your specification
- Produce cross-departmental invoices
- Review and plan with your teams
Sounds thorough, doesn’t it? The key to the efficiency of a supply chain is allowing it to run effortlessly and that’s exactly what a logistics solutions company like X2 does.
You might at this stage be looking at your own company or supply chain and recognising recurring issues with it that might feel out of your control.
Common issues with supply chains
Some of the points below might be highly relatable and familiar. If you’re noticing these patterns of behaviour, it could be time to assess your supply chain strategy with the help of us at X2.
Transportation cost fluctuating
Now more than ever we are seeing unpredictability with the cost of transportation as a result of Brexit and a mass exodus of fleets. You might find global and international logistics companies are hiking up prices higher due to the demand in the UK and Ireland.
By having a 4PL solution covering your business, you’ll have expert insight and constant monitoring of your company’s KPIs whilst remaining budget-focused and protecting your bottom line.
Keeping up with customer/industry demands.
Annual forecasts should give you a clear picture of how trends, the economy, and supply will affect demand. However, sometimes there are obstacles thrown at us that not even the most advanced economists can predict. It’s during these times, having a multifunctional logistics and haulage specialist on-side so you don’t lose excess resource and associated costs at an alarming rate.
From quick warehouse turnarounds to monitoring the progress of deliveries, the operational execution of a company’s logistics should feel seamless even with demand impact.
Sudden and long-term shortages
The knock-on effect of a limited delivery and warehouse workforce as seen in recent years with COVID-19, can be major. The pandemic certainly exposed how imperative the workforce are to the supply chain of any logistics business.
Across the industry and beyond, there is a considerable shortage of drivers in particular. Drivers are in chronic and continued short supply as reported by national news such as The Guardian. The impact of not having an assured workforce can drain resource at a rapid rate as well as impact future customer relationships.
Having to manage customer expectations with driver shortages is a precarious dance that needs considered strategy to overcome a fall in profit.
By having a logistics enterprise with access to large multiple fleets and exceptional management on your side, shortages become a lot less panic-inducing.
Now might be the time for your logistical solution
If you recognise any of these issues, now is the time to consider your logistics strategy. Having a one-stop solution that can add value to your business is an obvious move to make. Contact us at X2 and we will make sure we listen and actively learn about your logistical needs.
We know there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution but we do have all the tools, skills and experience to let your logistics elevate your business. Contact X2 today and sort your flexible and cost-effective logistical solutions.